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BIFF, MILF had no reason for overkill; stealing equipment is too much—Espina

/ 09:12 PM February 04, 2015
Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Granted the Special Action Force troopers had no coordination with the Muslim groups during the fatal January 25 incident, the overkill was out of reason, the country’s top cop said on Wednesday.

“Granting that the SAF troopers did not cooperate, for the sake of argument, was it enough reason for the overkill?” Philippine National Police officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina told the media in an impromptu press briefing.

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Espina said the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters had no intention to let SAF men live.

“Biruin niyo, 35 pinatay lahat ng 55th SAF company.  Kung hindi nakatakas yung isa, patay lahat ng 36. Pagkatapos patayin, pinagbabaril pa sa ulo, finishing touches, coup de grace (Consider, 35 were killed by the 55th SAF company. If one didn’t escape, all 36 will be dead. After killing them, they shot them in the head [as] finishing touches, coup de grace),” he lamented.

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“Nakita nila na merong SAF (logo) (They saw that there’s SAF logo), therefore (they’re from the) government. Meron na tayong usapin pero bakit babarilin sa mukha, tatanggalin mo pa uniporme,  kukunin mo pa cellphone, sasabihin pa sa misis ‘wag ka na tumawag. Patay na mister mo (We have an agreement but why shoot them in the head, why did they get their uniforms and cell phones, then if their spouses call they’d tell them, “don’t call anymore, your husband is dead),” he added.

Despite the strong remarks, Espina maintained that the PNP as peacekeepers still backs the peace talks with the Muslim insurgents.

“We behave according to the protocol of the discussion. We expect the other party to behave,” he said.

He also demanded the Moro troops to return the equipment they took from the slain 44 SAF men after the hours-long gunbattle in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

“To the enemy, who encountered my people and who have our equipment, isoli niyo (return them). Pinatay nyo na lahat ng tao ko pati equipment namin kukunin niyo. May usapin tayo (You killed my men then you’d confiscate their equipment. We had an agreement). They’re not yours [so] don’t sell them.

“This is way beyond our agreement. Sobra na ‘to (This is too much),” Espina said.

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TAGS: Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, biff, Leonardo Espina, MILF, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Philippine National Police, SAF, SAF troopers, Special Action Force
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